The most gentle light is soft light, and all cinematographers know and love LEE diffusion on their lights. It’s something we don’t put much thought in, I usually get LEE diffusions in three different strengths at my lighting rental place of choice, plus of course all the CTB and CTO that I need. However I really wasn’t aware of the huge range of different diffusions that are available from LEE until I saw this video by director of photography Don McVey. He put a lot of time and effort in putting all the different LEE diffusions side-by-side in the same setting, clearly demonstrating the qualities of each on the same model. He used an Arri M8 as the light source. Watch the video down below and head over to his blog post where he explains in detail how he performed the test. This is the perfect overview and a great guide that can influence your decision for the right diffusion on your next shoot. It definitely will influence my choice of diffusion! For a perfect overview gallery, head over to Don’s blog to see stills of each filter in use. Some of the effects are extremely beautiful for skin tones and gradation and can hardly be mimicked in post production.Read more
Screw-on filters are a fundamental part of a photographers kit list. Whilst the potential and versatility of image filtration needs no introduction itself, the function of the screw-on filter is often flawed; thick filters causing vignetting, poor optics leading to clarity loss and sticky threads are all common issues. Breakthrough Photography attempt to solves those issues, and you can help production with their Kickstarter for the X-Series Traction Filters. Filters are like many (if not all) bits of gear – you get what you pay for. With screw-on filters, that is often paying for thin, optically supreme and well coated filters to ensure your image is not impaired in any way. Breakthrough Photography is promising all the aspects of an expensive filter, but at a currently very affordable price. What’s more their traction frame designs look to solve the common problem of thread sticking. They are currently producing three types of UV filter, the X1, X2 and X3 (flagship being the X3). I’ll touch on how the ND lines interact later. All X-Series Traction Filters are double threaded, weather-sealed with laser engraved and serialised lettering. Multi-resistant coating starts at 4 layers with the X1, and up to 16 layers for the X3. Nano coating kicks in at the X2. All three are constructed from an ultra thin 3.5mm frame that Breakthrough Photography state completely eliminates vignetting on full frame 16mm setups. The X-Series Filters utilize similar German and Japanese optics as top manufactures such as B&W and Hoya, and aim to become available in 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm. The unique anti-stick frame is where they get their name. Offering a traction surface around the edge (full on X3, half on X2) to ensure the frame does not stick. Made by photographers, for photographers: “Our state-of-the-art 16-layer Multi-Resistant Coating process hardens both optical surfaces, increases light transmission, reduces reflections and achieves true color neutrality while maximizing contrast fidelity. Translated simply: the filter doesn’t impart any color shift and flaring is incredibly well controlled.” Their initial goal is for $50,000, which will provide enough funds to fully produce the full line of UV X-Series Traction Filters. Their stretch goal is $100,00, which will ensure 3-stop and 6-stop ND filters in 9 of the most common thread sizes. Both types of ND will be available in X2 and X3 frames only. A further stretch goal of $150,000 will see the production of slim circular polarizers. There’s a whole host of rewards available, perhaps the most important being the initial low prices of the X-Series Filters themselves. $20 gets you an X1 UV in any thread size, $30 for an X2 UV and $50 for an X3 UV. Check out more information on the Kickstarter page.Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! This is a very special (sixth) 50 minute episode of ON THE COUCH, in which we had the pleasure of hosting my friend Rodney Charters, ASC, best known for his work as director of photography on “24”, “Shameless” and now the new “Dallas”, Bruce Logan, ASC, best known for his work on the original TRON, the original Star Wars films and Batman Forever, as well as the owners of Zacuto, Steve Weiss and Jens Bogehegn – both of them shooters with decades-long experience in production themselves!Read more
cinema5D presents the Beauty Filter Test. We have tested 18 different glass filters with 6 different cameras and 2 different lenses to give you a feeling of how glass filters may (or may not) enhance the look of a digital camera nowardays. Among these filters (provided by Tiffen) are some of the most widely used filters by cinematographers around the world.Read more
Ever wondered how the Canon 7D REALLY looks like next to an Arri Alexa or Sony F65? This video brings you the answer. We took these shots from our extensive Beauty Filter Test and placed them side by side so you can get a feeling for how the cameras compare in the studio setup we had. Note that this is not a thorough camera review, but just an opportunity to watch the same high detail, high dynamic range scene on these 6 cameras with the same high quality PL lens and the same lighting, graded professionally to match.Read more
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